Patient Comments: Fifth Disease - Symptoms

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What were the symptoms of your fifth disease? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: tiredmom, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 29

My daughter, 21, works in a daycare where fifth disease was going around. She got it and was down about 3 to 5 days. I got it and have been suffering with symptoms for almost 6 weeks at this time. It started with headache, fever, aches and tiredness. Then the rash on my face, which has reappeared one more time. The rash on my arms, legs, feet, hands and back come and go sometimes several times a day. I have pain in my joints on arms, hands and legs. Hot baths, and any heat in general make it much worse. Even washing my hands in very warm water burns in a weird way. I now have bronchitis that I think is related. I have 5 kids and work a full time job, so this is totally kicking me every day. I'm so, so tired.

Comment from: Me too, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I have experienced all of the same awful symptoms from this fifth disease virus as the other women over 30. What I would like to remind others of is the amount of time between the fever and joint pain was over a week. Once the joint pain began to resolve the rash appeared. The pain in my head at night was so bad I couldn't lift my head without forcing myself to.

Comment from: marcyjane, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

My son had fifths last fall. It was going around his middle school. I was sick with a flu like illness before Christmas but then seemed to get over it. However, after New Year's I noticed I was getting itchy on my torso with small clusters of red bumps. I also noticed a strange pain on the top of my hip bone that radiated into my back with time. Then the back pain hit, the pain in my hands, wrists and neck. My knees didn"t hurt but they kept popping all the time, which they never did before. I"ve been to 2 doctors so far. I sprained my back shoveling just a little bit of snow, which is odd for me as I"m usually able to do anything, be very active, and feel fine. I do Pilates and light cardio to keep in shape, but I feel as if my muscles and bones are losing this battle. My doctor is testing me for Lyme but refuses to test me for fifths as it is self-limiting and wouldn"t affect how I was treated. My suspicions are it is fifths disease associated arthritis. It has been almost 2 months so far and sometimes I feel as if I"m so tired from the pain that I can"t be the mother to my son I"d like to be, that I was before. I hope every day this will end, and end soon. I just want to be normal again.

Comment from: Taylor, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: March 07

I am 18 years old, I work at a day care. I woke up two weeks ago with an itchy rash all over my back, arms, legs, and stomach. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to new detergent, but after wearing clothes not washed with the new detergent, I knew it was something else. My doctor told me I was having an allergic reaction and gave me 10 days' worth of prednisone. My 10 days of medication ran out and I still had this rash, especially on my arms. I had never heard of fifth disease, but I started to suspect it was something viral after one of the kids at the day care started to present the same symptoms, along with really red cheeks. The director of the day care told me it was probably fifth disease. Today is Day 15 and the rash is not as bad, but still on my arms and legs. I did not have the red cheeks more than a couple of days, but I do note that my ears have been very red and feel like they are burning. The child at the day care also still has symptoms. I've also experience back pain, headaches, runny nose, fatigue, and an upset stomach. I really wish this virus would hurry up and get out of me!

Comment from: Molly, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I'm 39 and have this virus. It started last week with headaches and a high temperature. Then I was covered in the rash. Each day since the rash more and more joints have hurt. Moving is extremely painful and hurts my neck, back, arms, elbows wrists knees and ankles. My face his now swollen rosy red and irritating and my hands hurt and are swollen. I went to 3 different doctors and, I worked out what the virus was when my daughter came home with red cheeks. I have since moved my son to his grans as he has spherociotoise which "slapped cheeks" (another name for this nasty virus) is very dangerous to him, along with a few other disorders. I'm very tired, in pain swollen and praying it doesn't last long as I work, and in the current climate want to keep my job. My little girl is doing fine lol. It would have kept me calmer if any of the doctors would have said this is what I've got.

Comment from: Momto4, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 10

I am 49 years old and a special education teacher for grades 1-4. I had a couple of days about a month ago with a slight fever and extreme fatigue. I could not shake the fatigue so went to the doctor. My blood work showed anemia as well as B12 deficiency so I thought that was why I was so tired, but I got worse and all my joints started to hurt. Starting in my back and hips and moving to my elbows, shoulders, wrists, hand knees and feet. I could not dress myself or hold a pen and was terribly frightened. I am seeing a rheumatologist and they suspect viral arthritis brought on by the virus that causes Fifth's Disease. I have been off work for over a week and am still extremely tired and sore. I am on an anti-inflammatory and prednisone and a painkiller. This has turned my life upside down. I have four children and a husband and a full time job as a teacher, plus I am back in school myself. I never knew a childhood illness could wreak such havoc.

Comment from: nikatnite162, Female Published: March 01

About 3 years ago, I too started not feeling well and ran a low grade fever that went away and then I woke up one morning with my right hand asleep and my face swollen. Then for the next couple of weeks I started gaining about 2 pounds a week until I had gained about 40 pounds a in a 2 week span. The doctors found nothing wrong and kept sending me home until I had a chest x-ray and they found I was collecting fluid in my lungs, at which time I was admitted to the hospital with congestive heart failure. I was put on lasix to drain all the water I had retained. I was told I had slap cheek and that the virus had gone to my heart, I also was extremely anemic.

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Comment from: HappyHeart, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 06

I am a preschool teacher. Our program was exposed to Fifth's Disease 3 years ago, at which time I became ill with it. I had knee surgery 4 years ago, so the disease attacked the knee joint that had surgery. Other than a severe headache and one knee swelling and painful, I had no other symptoms. I am now again experiencing the exact same symptoms, and seeing children in my program with the mid cold and flu symptoms. The information I am seeing online says that I cannot get it again, but that's not what my knee is saying to me right now!

Comment from: Mum, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 25

My daughter had what I thought was a cold but she soon developed the rash and was diagnosed with fifth disease - never heard of it. It wasn't too long before I started generally feeling unwell, rundown, then headachy, then sick and dizzy, then I fainted and the next day my joints in my hands, wrist, neck and knees swelled up very painful. After a trip to the doctors he concluded I had a virus and anemia, it wasn't until I mentioned my child had fifths disease that he considered that as the cause. Hopefully the anti inflammatory I've been given will help.

Comment from: juneschild, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I had been feeling generally weak and headachy for a couple weeks. I just couldn't seem to get enough sleep. One day I came home from work feeling chills and was running a low-grade fever. I spent the evening on the couch and next day went back to work as usual, although feeling pretty tired. A couple days later, I got out of the shower and noticed a rash all over my body. The joint aches are the worst part of this. I hurt everywhere and my hands are so swollen I can't get my wedding rings off. I can't close my fist and it hurts to grip anything. I need to go back to work, but am so fatigued that it's all I can do to keep up with the basics at home for a husband and 4 kids. I am nearly 50 and until this hit me, I never felt my age. Now, I feel like I've been hit by a truck. I'm taking ibuprofen for the joint aches and loratidine (antihistamine) for the itchiness of the rash. I'm trying to get more rest. The most discouraging thing I've read about this is that the joint pain and fatigue can last weeks. Since this is a viral illness, the only thing is to ride it out and get as much rest as possible. Take care of yourselves and good luck to all!

Comment from: Jess, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

I had been having headache for about 3 days then suddenly my joints started hurting then the rash came out. I didn't think anything of it till my daughter came out with the rash all over her body. Went to the doctor to find out it was fifths disease.

Comment from: ben, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 14

Under my arms I have bumps and my is back covered with tiny raised bumps not a lot of redness. Cheeks are red with no heat or fever.

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